Wilfred Harold Arola

Army Badge
  • Name: Wilfred Harold Arola
  • Location of Birth: Bovey, Minnesota
  • Date of Birth: September 29, 1918
  • Date of Death: KIA - August 1, 1943
  • Parents: Julius Arola & Johanna (Pentikainen) Arola
  • High School and Class:
  • College:
  • Highest Rank: PFC (Private First Class)
  • Branch: Army
  • Other Branch:
  • Date Sworn In: November 1941
  • Place Sworn In:
  • Date of Discharge: August 1, 1943 - KIA
  • Place of Discharge:
  • Units and Locations:
    Start Date End Date Unit(s) and Location(s) Served
    December 1941 Co. D, Camp Wheeler, GA
    August 1943 148 Inf. 37 Div.
  • Military Awards:
    Purple Heart

  • Military Highlights:
    WW II Draft Registration Cards – 10/16/1940 – 03/31/1947
    State: Michigan
    Name: Wilfred Harold Arola
    Race: White
    Age: 22
    Birth Date: September 29, 1918
    Birth Place: Bovey, Minnesota, USA
    Residence Place: Detroit, Michigan
    Registration Date: October 16, 1940
    Employer: Detroit Lumber Co.
    Weight: 150
    Height: 5-8
    Complexion: Ruddy
    Eye Color: Blue
    Hair Color: Brown
    Next of Kin: Benjamin Herr, brother-in-law, Detroit, Michigan

    Newspaper article: Itasca Iron News, Coleraine, Minnesota dated September 2, 1943 - "WILFRED AROLA KILLED IN ACTION SOUTH PACIFIC - A message from the U.S. War Department received late Thursday afternoon, told Mr. and Mrs. Julius Arola of Trout Lake township that their youngest son, Wilfred Harold Arola, was "killed in action" August 1st somewhere in the South Pacific. He would have been 25 years old the 29th day of this month. Wilfred Arola went into service in November of 1941, and went overseas in May of 1942, following a short furlough home in March. His last letter home was received a month ago, written from the Fiji Islands, where he was on a three-day leave; and must have been written shortly before the engagement in which he was killed. He was born during the last World War, in 1918. He wrote home as frequently as possible and sent little remembrances to his mother; on last Mother's Day, a bouquet of roses, through intercession of International Red Cross. Arola was employed at the Danube mine in Bovey previous to going into service. He was well thought of by the people of the communities where he was best known: Trout Lake, Bovey and Coleraine. Surviving besides his parents, are his brother Eino of Berkeley, formerly of Bovey; Edward of Nashwauk; and four sisters, Mrs. Ben Herr (Elsie) and Mrs. Eino Laitanen (Esther) of Detroit, Mrs. Eugene Mattson (Helen) of Trout Lake, and Mrs. Lewis Ball (Elna) of Coleraine."

    Newspaper article: Bovey Press, Bovey, Minnesota - October 15, 1943 - "RECEIVE PURPLE HEART. Mr. and Mrs. Julius Arola received the Purple Heart awarded to Private First Class Wilfred H. Arola for Military Merit and for Wounds received in action, resulting in his death, August 1st, 1943. Bovey is proud to have this young fellow on its Honor Roll and joins with the parents in their pride and sorrow."

    The remains of Wilfred Arola were returned to the U.S. from the Philippines in June 1948 and reburial was made in the family plot in the Trout Lake Community Cemetery, Bovey, Minnesota.

  • Wars Involved:
    World War II

  • MIA / POW:

  • Civilian Life:
    Information from Itasca Iron News article, dated July 1, 1948:

    "Services for Wilfred Arola Killed in South Pacific

    The body of Pfc. Wilfred Harold Arola, son of Mr. and Mrs. Julius Arola, arrived Tuesday in Bovey for burial on Wednesday. He was born in Bovey September 29, 1918, and died in action in the South Pacific Islands on August 1, 1943, having been in the service of his country since Nov. 1, 1939. "

    He is survived by his parents and two brothers, Eino and Evert; four sisters, Mrs. William Chapman, Mrs. Elna Ball, Mrs. Karl Jacobs, and Mrs. Eugene Mattson.

    Funeral services were in charge of the VFW with Reverend O. E. Maki giving the sermon at the Trout Lake Finnish Lutheran Church. Mrs. Nels Wangensteen played the organ music and accompanied the hymns sung by Wayne Hayes, Eddie Koski and Lars Johnson. Pallbearers were Everett and Harold Alto, Alex and Waino Johnson and Sulo and Henry Palkki. Flagbearers were Edward Mandy, William Jacobson, and color guards, James MacNeil and Douglas Deal. The firing squad included Earl Freeman and George Pavilica, Mike Bibich, Nick Zobenica, Harlan Waters, Leslie Walter and Louis Perry.

    The body was laid in its final resting place in the Trout Lake Finnish cemetery with firing and taps after prayer.

  • Tribal Affiliation(s):